YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

photographer
I understand how hard it can be to see all these lovely images of weddings on the internet. When it comes to your wedding finding a photographer has come up at least once. Finding and choosing the right photographer can sometimes be very challenging.

Let me tell you – I know.

Although my fiance and I are both wedding photographers we had quite a lot of difficulties finding a suitable photographer. Some might think that would make it easier. But it was on the contrary. We know how a photographer should work, what we should look out for and what traps you can fall into. Still, it was nearly impossible.

But I am not here to tell you about our journey of finding someone to photograph our wedding. I would like to talk about all the things a non-professional needs to understand when looking for or hiring a photographer.

1) First up. Who are you? What style is your wedding and what feel do you wish for it to have? Not every photographer works the same way. Some use flash and others don’t. Some work on edit a lot and others keep it natural. Whatever you like most is what has to be reflected in a photographers portfolio. Do not ask any photographer to recapture someone else’s work. Chances are what the portfolio portrays is probably close to what you’re going to get.

2) Don’t get fooled by expensive equipment. Skills is a major factor. So don’t get fooled. A student photographer with a start up DSLR can be just as talented and create beautiful images of your day. Sometimes giving them a chance might also save you some pennies. Point is, just because the camera cost $10k doesn’t mean the photographer is always worth what you are looking for. You should be convinced by his/her images, rather than the equipment.

3) Set your budget – but do not under budget, and stick to it. Chances are you need to spend a bit of money on your photographer. But if you look at it from the long term investment point of view, it’s one of the only things that will last for a lifetime. Just make sure you know what you can spend and what is a definite no. Realistically speaking around $1500-$3000 is normal. Why, is another story. Under or over can be possible depending on the photographer and their packages

4) So once you’ve found someone: Set up a meeting to get to know each other. You will be surprised how fast you will find out whether you and your chosen photographer get along. This is important. You want harmony and most of all – you want to love your photos. The photographer will do his/her work, but you will have those images on your walls for a lifetime. If the chemistry ain’t good, find someone else. Tell them what you want before you sign a contract. It’s takes two to tango. The photographer can’t read your mind. If you are not specific, chances are he or she will do what they think will suit you best. If you want more portraits than family photos, all images as prints as well as digitally, have the option to choose your images etc. tell them.

5) Read your contract before you sign it and ask if you don’t understand something. If you don’t ask the photographer will assume that you’ve understood everything. This way you will avoid misunderstandings after your wedding and there are no do-overs.

6) Tell your photographer what kind of photos you want and show them your schedule. He/she will have enough experience to work out what is possible and how to schedule the sessions correctly. (e.g. if you love 5 different locations, 1 hour of shooting time will not be enough.)

7) It might take some time before you receive your edited images. Wedding seasons are stressful and quality takes time. Prepare to wait between 4-8 weeks for your photos to get to you.

8) Relax and don’t be a micro controlling bride. Enjoy your day and let your photographer do their work. Trust in the experience and your day will be perfect.

I hope this little guideline helped you. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.

Til’ then, be kind to one another.

VJ xx

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Top Weddings #3: DIY & Budget

Hi everyone and welcome to wedding blog Saturday!

Today I would like to talk about DIY & budget weddings. Rose McGowan’s wedding (remember the three witches from ‘Charmed’ – she played Paige) has always been in my top list. It is different and creative.

But let’s rewind a bit…

Times have always been tough. I don’t believe that there has ever been an economy where absolutely everyone was treated equally and no one had hard times. Everyone is different and life’s circumstances have varied over centuries. One thing however will always stay the same. We all want love.

When we’ve found it and a wedding date has been set, budget plans are in order. Rule number one is and will always be: set your budget. Know how much you want to spend and stick to it. You can get carried away quite easily and your total bill will be up the roof in no time. Try to include everything you can think of. From the socks for the suit right through to your honeymoon. There is no point in trying to cut your number, by deducting things you won’t need on your actual day. Although you might be able to reuse a few items you still have to buy them up front.

So think about your overall package and then try to sort them by importance. Do you want an expensive dress? Then you may have to cut down on something else, such as your car or other transportation. If you want a really fancy dinner, then maybe hire a DJ instead of the string quartet. Get the point? Here are a few tips to differentiate between important and not so important things:

1) Your dress. Don’t sell yourself short on your dress. It’s the one thing that everyone, even the curious guys across the street, will look at. And they will judge it! I’m not saying that you should go all out and spend 10k on a Vera Wang. There are plenty of budget options. You don’t have to buy a designer dress. There is nothing from with dresses from last season which might be on sale. If you have a long engagement, shop around, you’ve got plenty of time. Another option would be to get one custom made. You will get exactly what you want and if you choose your fabrics right, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

2) The opposite to your dress is your underwear. Yes you will need something to match your dress, but please don’t let your bra straps show. Pick something simple. This way you can always wear it again. If you want to buy something special for your husband, get a nice set of lingerie for after the wedding. 😉

3) Cake & flowers vs. photography. You’ve eaten your cake and your flowers have wilted just a day after your wedding. Your photos however will last a life time. Think about what is more important to you here. There are so many great cake inspirations out there but the cake is not the most important thing. If you want to safe a bit of money, get a smaller cake or something as simple as cupcakes. Same goes with your flowers. There is nothing wrong with putting together the centre pieces or your bouquet yourself. You can also reuse your ceremony flowers. Just put them on the dinner tables after. But please don’t cheapen out on your photos. Aunt Helen might have a DSLR, but her having a fancy camera doesn’t automatically make her a good photographer. Your family members and guests are there to celebrate and not to work. If you can’t afford a professional, hire a student photographer or someone who is just starting out and wants to increase their portfolio. They will appreciate you giving them a chance and who knows they might give you your dream photos!

There are so many options and fun DIY projects. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. There is nothing from with being creative. If Rose McGowan can be part of her big day and do things differently, so can you! She didn’t have a fancy hairstyle or a five tier wedding cake. She even did her own makeup!

Remember, you don’t have to explain yourself. It’s your day. Have fun and enjoy every moment of it!

Wedding planning, tips, budget weddings, do it yourself projects, diy

Wedding planning, tips, budget weddings, do it yourself projects, diy

“…My advice would be to have fun and get your hands dirty. Ask for things that are unique to you and your intended. The florists (who were awesome) had never done a Chuppah or bouquet like my design. The string trio had never done a processional song like mine. Creative challenges are a good thing. People will rise to the occasion. Don’t be afraid to trust your own taste and to challenge what doesn’t feel right. You don’t have to do what others do. Leave the typical wedding greatest hits to others. Be imaginative creating your world, because on that day it is YOUR world. A world of magic and love and inclusiveness and beauty and FUN!”

Click here for Rose’s fabulous and unique wedding Part One. And here for Part Two.

‘Til then be kind to one another.

VJ xx

Images: Callaway Gable | Green Wedding Shoes